I put an empty glass jar on my kitchen table,

like the cuss jar we used to have at work.

Every time someone swore,

she put a quarter into the jar, and

on Friday, we used the money for donuts.

Instead of paying when I cuss, though,

I pay when I refuse to speak out,

when I swallow the words

forming inside me

in reaction to what someone said or did

or events in the day’s news.

Words that question,



Words that would tell my side of the story.

Instead of quarters,

I put a pebble in the jar

each time I keep silent,

afraid to voice my thoughts,

fearful of being told to keep my opinions to myself,

to just shut up.

Soon the jar fills with rocks, and

my throat fills with unspoken words,

choking me.           

When there is room for no more stones,

I shatter the jar and let the pebbles roll out,

spilling out onto the world my unspoken pain.

12 thoughts on “Unspoken

  1. 375writersbank

    This reflection is well written. I like this idea both metaphorically and the actual visual aspect of seeing how much I myself can use if for representation of how I don’t always say what I think. Thanks for expressing and giving good for thought.

  2. Ms. Liz

    You’ve a wonderful way with words that really cuts to the chase, beautifully expressing truth and fragility. Really enjoying your writing, thank you!


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